In 2014, Joseph Fabics filed a verified complaint seeking guardianship of his mother. The court appointed Ann Renaud, Esq. to represent Mrs. Fabics in connection with the action.

The court-appointed attorney submitted a report to the court concluding that Joseph would be an unsuitable guardian, and recommending that Mrs. Fabics’s other son, Laszlo, be appointed as guardian. She noted Joseph’s behavior during the course of the litigation, which “to the educated lay person demonstrated mental illness.” The court-appointed attorney noted that Joseph made similar claims regarding his mother’s incapacity in 2006, and that Adult Protective Services (APS) had investigated and concluded that “the problem did not reside with [Mrs. Fabics], but rather with [Joseph].” APS concluded that Joseph was harassing and causing anxiety to Mrs. Fabics. In 2007, Mrs. Fabics executed a power of attorney naming her son Laszlo as her agent, and expressed a preference that Laszlo be appointed as her guardian. Following a hearing, the court appointed Laszlo as guardian, but ordered Laszlo to permit Joseph to visit their mother under various conditions.

Several weeks later, Joseph filed an emergent application claiming that the guardian, Laszlo, was preventing visitation. A hearing followed, at which time Lazlo testified that their mother was on hospice care and was only conscious approximately a half hour per day. The court-appointed attorney reported that Joseph had visited his mother on a number of occasions, and that he caused disturbances that were distressing to Mrs. Fabics. Following the hearing, the court ordered that Joseph be permitted to visit his mother one hour per day.

Mrs. Fabics died several days later. Thereafter, Joseph filed an appeal claiming that the court abused its discretion in limiting his right to visit with his gravely ill mother.

Although the Appellate Division found the visitation claim to be moot based on Mrs. Fabics’s death, it reviewed the record and concluded that there was no abuse of judicial discretion in the visitation restriction that the trial court had concluded to be in Mrs. Fabics’s best interest.

A copy of In the Matter of Anna Fabics can be found here – In the Matter of Anna Fabics

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